The Oklahoma State Department of Health has a special program on heart disease and stroke prevention. This program has several components. Firstly it aims to collaborate with its partners across the state to develop policies that are healthy for the heart. It recruits staff that are trained both in the field of cardiovascular medicine and public health so that they are able to deal with both policy making and implementation. For those collaborators who are not well versed with public health strategies, special training programs are available that will assist them with technical support for the project.
It also has an inventory and assessment system which evaluates the current cardiovascular program of the state. In addition this program looks at statistical data and monitors trends that can point towards at-risk groups of people. Once these groups are identified, this program has the capacity to plan and pilot interventions aimed specially at these groups. All in all, the Chronic Disease Service seeks to prevent death and disability from chronic diseases through timely screening, appropriate life changes and necessary interventions. Analysis of the program
An assessment of this plan is as follows, according to the criteria delineated by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in its document entitled Public Health Infrastructure. (CDC) In fact, this program is an initiative of the CDC itself, as part of its State Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Programs funded by the US Congress. Regarding the workforce, this program has partnered with the State Board of Health, State Department of Health, American Heart Association, the Community Development Service, Departments of Education, Parks and Recreation etc.
to ensure that all concerned individuals and departments are involved. Thus it includes competent leaders, policy makers, scientists, physicians and funding agencies in its plan. This workforce is not only skilled, but local, thereby ensuring that cultural sensibilities and language is not a barrier towards dissemination of information and policy implementation. Regarding communication and data gathering, the project is up to date as well.
Its comprehensive Stroke Registry, Heart/Stroke Maps and Legislative Database all ensure that timely and accurate surveillance is done and the data compiled on an easily accessible medium to enable its users to make succinct analysis that will influence further action plans and policies. The resource library brings together the above tools together with references to current relevant publications and global health reports so that the best use can be made of available information. An annual report relating to cardiovascular disease is released.
This allows for identification of trends and vulnerable groups and timely interventions. Since this program is affiliated with the CDC, its division of Adult and Community Health, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity and Office of Genomics and Disease Prevention all collaborate to conduct research on risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Their findings, combined with the suggestions and guidelines from the societies listed above, such as the American Heart Association make for evidence based and scientifically proven strategies to reduce the burden of CVD.
Recommendations The vision and partnerships of this public health program make for excellent infrastructure, and its goals are comprehensive and well-defined. Additionally, to monitor the progress and success of the program, random surveys can be conducted amongst the workforce, specially the ground level staff, to evaluate their knowledge and information regarding this health issue. If found lacking, they can be given relevant training which is already a part of this program.
Distance learning can also be incorporated in the overall mission so that remote inaccessible areas can benefit from the program. Continued motivation, enthusiasm and adaptability are key to the sustainability of this public health agenda.
References Public Health Infrastructure—Centers of Disease Control and Prevention http://www. healthypeople. gov/document/HTML/Volume2/23PHI. htm#_Toc491137863 Oklahoma Government Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program http://www. ok. gov/health/Disease,_Prevention,_Preparedness/Chronic_Disease_Service/Heart_Disease_and_Stroke_Prevention_Program/index. html